Samsung Galaxy S3: Streaming with Music Player

April 21, 2013

This note describes how to easily access, stream and play music files on your S3 that are stored on a Win7 computer via your home WiFi network. Similar capability is provided with DLNA-enabled network storage devices. Win7 has built-in support for DLNA streaming of music files (and othe multimedia file types) using Microsoft's Windows Media Player (WMP). From Win7 in WMP, enable streaming and select the folders containing the music files you want to access your S3:

The S3 built-in Music Player app provides all the functionality required. Open the Music Player. By default, it will list the music files stored locally on the smartphone. To access music files stored on a networked Win7 computer, slide the top options bar over to show the Nearby devices selection:

Click it to reveal network shares which are identified by the application sharing the files (on Win7 it is Windows Media Player):

Select one of the computers and Music Player will automatically index and list all the playable audio files on that device (no downloads are performed). The amount of time this takes depends on the number of shared files. The example below with 809 music files required about 20 sec to update. The listing also shows image art (supported by DLNA) as shown for some of the files :

Select any song to play. You now have streaming wireless access using DLNA and your local WiFi network to potentially huge music databases of MP3, WAV files stored on your PC (I prefer to rip into pristine wav files personally with ~ 30Mb/song being typical instead of 3 Mb/song for inferior-quality MP3 audio).

But what if you want to actually download some of the audio files to your S3 from the computer since you probably want to have the songs available on the go. Obviously you can connect your S3 to the computer via USB and simply transfer the audio files as per usual. This is the most convenient way if you want to transfer lots of music files. But it is really easy to transfer a few music files using Music Player. Simple open the options menu at the bottom and select "Download" for the currently selected song:

Finally, the S3 Music Player by default plays the music you have selected on your S3. If you have a DLNA-enabled device with renderer capability on your network, you can stream audio FROM your S3 to a network device. In this case the S3 is acting as a DLNA controller. This is identical in functionality to the native Play To DLNA functionality provided in Win7. The audio file can either be a local file on your S3 or a file streamed from another computer (as above). For example, I use my S3 to stream music FROM a large music database on a Win7 laptop TO a Western Digital TV Live Plus device:

The WD TV Live is a DLNA "renderer" and "player" and so can be controlled by another DLNA device (like the S3 smartphone). Used in this way, the WD TV Live does not need to have any video output connection (since control and navigation is provided with the S3). (The WD TV Live can also PULL content from network shares with its DLNA "player" functionality using its own TV menu system used for navigation). I connect my WD TV Live Plus box to my stereo receiver (using either the stereo analog outputs or the S/PDIF digital audio output). This allows me to wireless "push" to and play music on my high-quality hi-fi system using my S3 to control the music source. Since .wav files up to 16 bit/44.1 kHz are supported by S3, this provides CD-quality music wirelessly streamed to your hi-fi system or what I call Wi-Fi Hi-Fi.